Posts tagged film history
Posts tagged film history
From an Andrew Sullivan thread about classic Hollywood’s race and sex problems:
Eddie Cantor is one of my favorite old movie stars. Fast-talking and action-packed, his movies were early examples of screwball comedy, but most are virtually unairable on television today and thus nearly forgotten. Like so many other performers of the era, Cantor came up from vaudeville, with its traditions of blackface, “coon shouting” and racial humor. Most of his movies (like Whoopee!, Roman Scandals, The Kid from Spain) rely on some form of broad racial humor. The best one can say is that he didn’t target any group in particular; black, Jewish, Asian, Hispanic and Native American stereotypes all enjoy ample screen time.
I remember AMC’s Bob Dorian introducing Whoopee! in the mid 1990s, prefacing it with a plea not to focus on the racial stuff, but to look at it as an “indicator of how far we have come.”
Myrna, be mine.
From Upstage (1926)
Never doubted this.
Georges Méliès, La lune à un mètre, France, 1898.
Modern movies, your argument is invalid. You will never be more awesome or more frightening than Melies.
from The Penalty (1920).
I have a new favorite Tumblr.
Myrna, be mine.
Ahhhh so cool!
I’m really a sucker for these early 20th century theater marquee photos.
Ingrid Bergman, you’re so perty
You’d make any mountain quiver
You’d make fire fly from the crater
O Brother, Where Art Thou? 
This one has a couple of levels. Look it up.
For Double Fakeout Fake Criterions Month.
“At Cortina d’Ampezzo, there was a chairlift that went up to the top of the mountain, with a restaurant at the top. The height went from 2,000 ft. to 8,000 ft. and it was a beautiful place. One day in particular began with stunning weather, so David and I went up to the mountain to have lunch. We were dressed casually in slacks, but once we got up there, the bad weather moved in, and it got cold. Really cold.
As we came down after lunch, Niv was sitting in the chairlift saying matter-of-factly, ‘My cock is frozen. I have a frozen cock. Frozen solid.’ When we got down to the hotel, Marion was waiting for us. David explained his predicament and asked Marion to sit in his lap and save the life of his favorite friend. Having a strong maternal disposition, Marion sat in his lap and saved a very valuable part of David’s life.
Niv ordered a brandy. Then he told me to follow him, and we went to the john where he unzipped and dropped his unit into the brandy snifter to try to save it from frostbite…It was at that point that the bathroom door swung open, and in came a man in a military uniform. He looked at David with his cock in a brandy glass, and me staring at it, and stopped dead…Niv looked up and said, ‘I always give it a little drink from time to time.’”
- Robert Wagner [Pieces of My Heart]
Nora: Is that my drink over there?
Nick: What are you drinking?
Nick: Yes, that’s yours.
The Thin Man, 1934
I think I need to watch this again. This gif just convinced me that it is in fact my favorite film.
Filmed July 26, 1900/1903?, on the roof of the Bronx Biograph studio:
This scene is laid in the parlor of a New York tenement. Two watchers at the wake are smoking and drinking, while the widow is weeping over the coffin. The attention of the three is distracted for an instant, and the supposed corpse rises up, drinks all the beer in the pitcher which is standing on a table nearby, and lies down in the coffin again. The mourners return, and seeing that the beer is gone, engage in a controversy over it. During the scrap the corpse jumps out of the coffin and takes part in the melee.
I’ve got plans for my funeral.
File under: Why Myrna Loy is Teh Hot.
My dashboard has been bombed with Katharine Hepburn photos recently, but this is the first where I think she’s actually pretty…
After a terrible blizzard in early 1927, the mining town of Silverton, Colorado was snowed in for a solid month. Nobody could get in or out of there, except by dogsled.
As Exhibitors Herald reported, “The mushers tried to supply the town with fresh food, but the miners favored sacrificing other things rather than motion pictures. New films were brought in almost daily.”
(Exhibitors Herald, March 26, 1927, pg. 17.)
Someday (maybe master’s thesis?), I want to write about film viewership - the way that people became obsessed with the cinema in its first two or three decades of existence. This kind of stuff is nuts!